Saturday, July 30, 2011

It looks like Voice of San Diego might be taking some cards out of the deck before it begins to play

Has Voice of San Diego given up on journalistic ethics? They're starting to make the SDUT look good! I'm beginning to think VOSD is just a mouthpiece for a few people with money and/or influence who wanted some control over which voices are heard in San Diego. But apparently they didn't just want to give some new people a voice. They also want to keep some new voices silent.

Last night I sent two comments to VOSD about the Jackson story in Voice of San Diego:

You guys are doing something wrong. I don't think your decisions are motivated by race, but the unbalanced racial makeup of the people you choose to attack exposes a problem. I'm not talking about the top elected officials. I am talking about how VOSD chooses which of the other 3 million people in San Diego to attack, protect, or discuss. There's something wrong with your methodology when so many of the people attacked are black women. There is something arbitrary and inequitable about your methods. The law of probability indicates that you are somehow pulling some of the cards out of the deck before the game begins.

You are exposing your methods unintentionally. The same thing happens with people who cheat on their taxes. The IRS spots them by looking for certain numbers that tend to pop up more frequently in the tax filings of people who are cheating. They use statistics to spot the fraud, without even looking at the reasons given for deductions.

VOSD has stepped gingerly around some stories, and stepped heavily into other stories.

The people that get the gentler treatment from VOSD tend to be white, not because VOSD is racist, but because, I suspect, the people whom Buzz Woolley and the rest of the top dogs at VOSD want to protect happen to be white. People high up on the food chain in San Diego schools are treated gently (and the superintendent there is a black man), while people who rank lower take the heat. Also, people down at SEDC get harsh handling.

Obviously, commenter "bigfan" doesn't like Shelia Jackson, and doesn't want to question VOSD's motives for choosing to attack Jackson while staying silent on more important issues in schools.

My point is that I think VOSD chooses stories for the wrong reasons, but not necessarily for racial reasons. But one must suspect that something is wrong when there is such a surfeit of black women being attacked. The laws of probability are being violated. The choices seem arbitrary. It appears that people are attacked if they are not on the protected list.

Let's look at the facts. When Regina Petty at SEDC wouldn't turn over public records, VOSD went after her with a vengeance. We were treated to 13 "Petty Watch" posts. It took two months of "almost constant hounding" to get SEDC to release public records.

But VOSD reported that when it asked for records from the County Office of Education "that would show if the trips were given to the agency rather than the employee, it didn't provide any." VOSD didn't begin an aggressive "Crosier Watch." No constant hounding. The difference in treatment was not due to the fact that the SEDC lawyer was black and Diane Crosier, the lawyer in charge of keeping public records out of public view at the County Office of Education, was white. It's because Petty had no friends at VOSD, and Crosier apparently does. I call it friendship when you meekly accept a "no" answer to a public records request instead of doing all you can to shame Diane Crosier into turning over the records.

I'm not saying VOSD shouldn't cover the Jackson story. I'm saying that we can clearly see that there is a problem when racial patterns emerge so clearly in VOSD stories. I'm saying VOSD needs to start telling the whole truth about schools in San Diego. And it should start with a "Crosier Watch."

At almost 5 p.m. today (July 30, 2011), my comments are not posted. Here's what I just wrote to Scott Lewis and Andrew Donohue.

Scott Lewis, Andrew Donohue:

You allowed a commenter to call me "pathetic" and say she was LMAO (laughing her ass off). Not coincidentally, I believe, she was defending VOSD's choice of subject for investigation.

Then you failed to publish my two comments explaining myself.

You're not even pretending any more, are you?

I'm beginning to think that although VOSD does cover some stories that the SDUT doesn't, it isn't because VOSD is more fair in who it attacks. It's simply that VOSD is politically motivated to attack different people. The main problem I see with both VOSD and SDUT is that they like to go after little stories of small corruption in which the taxpayers lose a small amount of cash to someone with sticky fingers, while at the same time both these newspapers leave unmolested the big guys who undermines society itself by corrupting the system to make the entire operation of government subservient to their wishes.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Now Two Murdoch Whistleblowers Dead

Now Two Murdoch Whistleblowers Dead
By John Romano
Yes, But, However
July 24th 2011

First it was Big George Webley who relayed a fear of the Murdoch machine and wound up dead. Now it’s Sean Hoare. Two British media whistleblowers. Two untimely deaths.

Let’s assume that neither was killed by Rupert Murdoch (toxicology reports haven’t been made available; foul play isn’t suspected by British authorities in either case), but something happened that put the fear of God into both men. Neither was known as a lunatic before their demise, both simply told the truth to British authorities about what they knew of Mr. Murdoch’s enterprises and died afterward at a relatively young age.

Sean Hoare

Mr. Hoare’s role in the evolving scandal is obvious: he worked at News of the World and broke the scandal wide open by charging his former editor, and then Prime Minister David Cameron’s Communications Director Andy Coulson, with lying about his role in NOTW’s phone hacking. Big George, for his part, allegedly revealed in private testimony to British authorities the fact that the Sky TV show he worked on in the early 90′s ,”Jameson Tonight”, had routinely bugged the dressing rooms of guests looking for scoops. Mr Webley’s charge was relevant because News Corp.’s initial defense was that the hacking at NOTW was the work of a rogue reporter. Big George’s charge threw cold water on that defense by helping to establish a pattern of subterfuge over many years at Murdoch-owned enterprises.

At first, Big George’s April 29th frantic phone call to me (eight days before his death at age 53, details here) didn’t make much sense. Now that the scandal has broken wide open a few things are much clearer:

The hacking/bugging taking place at News Corp. businesses was far more widespread than previously known.
Based on their dismissals from News Corp. it is shown that the hacking went far up the food chain all the way to Les Hinton, who resigned as head of Dow Jones last week.
The police were involved, as evidenced by the resignation of two of Scotland Yard’s top cops.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s Communication Director was a former Murdoch employee and News of the World editor.

The United Kingdom is the closest western country to a de facto police state. Surveillance cameras are everywhere. No Bill of Rights (in law or practice), and by living there you acknowledge that you are a subject of the British Crown. Britain is a great place, but it is not exactly a place where freedom flourishes compared with the United States, France or Canada.

Given the above, it is very easy to envision a scenario where the police could and would build a campaign of quiet intimidation against men like Mr. Webley and Mr. Hoare. London police were on the payroll of a Murdoch enterprise; why wouldn’t they act to protect their racket?

The Murdoch empire is fighting for its life, but let’s not forget both Sean Hoare and Big George Webley, two men that it would seem either directly or indirectly are collateral damage in the whole affair. Someone needs to speak for them.

Friday, July 22, 2011

UK lawmaker calls for police investigation of claim contradicting James Murdoch

UK lawmaker calls for police investigation of claim contradicting James Murdoch testimony
By Associated Press
July 22, 2011

LONDON — James Murdoch was under pressure Friday over claims he misled lawmakers about Britain’s phone hacking scandal, as a lawmaker called for a police investigation and Prime Minister David Cameron insisted the media scion had “questions to answer” about what he knew and when he knew it.

The presumed heir to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire testified before a parliamentary committee that he was not aware of evidence that eavesdropping at the News of the world went beyond a jailed rogue reporter. But in a sign that executives are starting to turn against the company, two former top staffers said late Thursday they told him years ago about an email that suggested wrongdoing at the paper was more widespread than the company let on.



Weigh In

The sequence of events at News Corp.

The sequence of events at News Corp.

A British lawmaker wants police to investigate whether James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, lied to Parliament. (July 22)

A British lawmaker wants police to investigate whether James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, lied to Parliament. (July 22)

More on this Story

British PM adds to pressure on James Murdoch
Former execs accuse James Murdoch of lying
News Corp. PAC boosted donations in June
Michael Regan, Murdoch's man in Washington

View all Items in this Story

The claim brings more trouble for the embattled James Murdoch, who heads the Europe and Asia operations of his father’s News Corp., as his family fights a scandal that has already cost it one of its British tabloids, two top executives and a $12 billion-dollar bid for control of lucrative satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.

Tom Watson, a legislator from the opposition Labour Party, called for Scotland Yard to look into the allegation and said it “marks a major step forward in getting to the facts of this case.”

“If their version of events is accurate, it doesn’t just mean that Parliament has been misled, it means police have another investigation on their hands,” Watson told the BBC.

James Murdoch, who was not testifying under oath at Tuesday’s parliamentary hearing, could face sanction if it becomes clear he deliberately misled lawmakers — but the prospect is highly unlikely. The last time the House of Commons fined anyone was in 1666.

The House of Commons no longer has the power to imprison a nonmember, but it could refer a case to the Metropolitan Police...